Maryland Residents’ Divorce Governed by Maryland Law—Not Lebanese Law, or Religious Law
From Melki v. Melki (Md. Ct. Spec. App.), decided Tuesday, in an opinion by Judge Kevin Arthur:
In 2009, Husband and Wife were married in Tripoli, Lebanon, at an Orthodox Christian church. Husband is an Orthodox Christian, and Wife is a Catholic. The couple had met a year earlier in Beirut, where Wife, a citizen of Lebanon, worked as an opera singer. Husband, a dual citizen of Lebanon and the United States, has resided in the United States for over 30 years, but often travels to Lebanon to vacation and visit family members….
On August 4, 2016, Wife moved herself and her children out of the couple’s home in Montgomery County. On that same day, Wife filed for a limited divorce in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County….
Husband objected to the divorce, “arguing that only Lebanese courts have jurisdiction over the divorce and that the court’s dissolution of the marriage would infringe on his free exercise of religion as an Orthodox Christian,” and “that Maryland’s no-fault divorce statute, as appl
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